Trey Burke Named NBA’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December

by Bill Lea

SALT LAKE CITY (January 3, 2014) – The NBA announced today that Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke has been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played during the month of December.

Burke becomes the second player in franchise history to win a monthly rookie honor, joining Karl Malone who was named NBA Rookie of the Month in December 1985. The award, which has been given monthly since the 1981-82 season, was originally the NBA Rookie of the Month before splitting into Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month in 2001-02.

The 6-1, 190-pound guard led all NBA rookies in assists (5.9) and free throw percentage (.919), ranking second in scoring (14.8) and minutes (32.7) while adding 3.1 rebounds in 16 games in December (all starts). Burke scored in double figures in 13 of the 16 games, with five-or-more assists 12 times, finishing with a 3.03 assist-to-turnover ratio. Burke averaged 18.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds, with a plus-minus of +84 in the seven Jazz wins in December, leading the Jazz to wins in six of its final 11 games of the month.

Here is a closer look at some of the month’s highlights for Burke:

  • December 2 vs. Houston: Posted 21 points, three rebounds and six assists without a turnover as the Jazz defeated the Rockets, 109-103.
  • December 7 vs. Sacramento: Registered 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a 112-102 overtime loss to the Kings.
  • December 13 at Denver: Had 10 points and 10 assists with one turnover as the Jazz won in Denver, 103-93.
  • December 18 at Orlando: Scored 30 points with seven rebounds and eight assists in an 86-82 win over the Magic. His 30 points are the most scored by any NBA rookie this season, and he became the first NBA rookie with at least 30/7/8 in a game since the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin tallied a 31/10/10 game vs. Memphis on April 13, 2011. Burke’s performance came in just his 16th career game, making him the first player in the NBA to post a 30/7/8 game within his first 20 career games since Alvan Adams had 35/12/8 for Phoenix in a game at the Los Angeles Lakers on November 14, 1975.
  • December 21 at Charlotte:Tallied 20 points, three rebounds and four assists in a turnover-free effort as the Jazz won at Charlotte, 88-85.
  • December 30 vs. Charlotte: Totaled 21 points, three rebounds and five assists with just one turnover as the Jazz defeated the Bobcats, 83-80.

In 23 games (21 starts) overall on the season, Burke is averaging 13.7 points and 3.3 rebounds, along with a team-leading 5.0 assists in 30.2 minutes per game.

Orlando’s Victor Oladipo was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr., Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams, and Sacramento’s Ben McLemore.